BRING ON RANGERS!

New East Stirlingshire boss John Sludden admits he will use the prospect of a League Cup match against Rangers as a carrot to dangle under the noses of players he wants to sign for the club’s first-ever Lowland League campaign.

Friday’s draw for what is now known for sponsorship reasons as the Betfred Cup put Shire in a first round group with Motherwell, Stranraer, Annan Athletic and the Ibrox giants.

Sludden knows Shire’s demotion from the SPFL League Two will make it harder to entice players to the club, but he is also absolutely sure that the prospect of a huge tie against Rangers in the season-opening competition might make that job a little bit easier.

“It’s fantastic for the club and fantastic for the players,” he said.

“It is obviously great for any of the players to go and play against the top teams. You would expect Rangers to be challenging to win the Premier League, so that’s a great opportunity for our players.

“Since Friday night I have received some phone calls and made some calls to players and the draw has been mentioned. It is an opportunity for the players and it is a big thing for the club but the most important thing is the league campaign,” he said

“It’s a great bonus to go and play against one of the top teams in Scotland but everything will have to be geared to winning the Lowland League.”

Sludden and assistant Martyn Mooney were revealed as the Shire’s new management team last week and met supporters of the Lowland League new boys at a special event on Monday evening.

Fixture details for the Betfred Cup are expected to be announced this week.